Inspiration: the 1700s

Ok, so it may not be practical to dress like an extra from Dangerous Liaisons, but I must confess to having been utterly drawn in by the attire adopted in some of the mid-to-late 18th Century period dramas we’ve been watching of late. From City of Vice, via Plunkett and Macleane, to Garrow’s Law, the costumery – perhaps particularly in the second – is a visual treat. And, yes, it is true, Liv Tyler doesn’t harm the view either…

I love the simplicity of this dress – matte blue silk with a square neckline.
The same applies for the below right – a simple dress, but here made
divine through the choice of material.

And yet, it’s the detail that I love in the below and above left…

Cobwebs and boning and lace – oh my!

Garrow’s Law may have a largely male cast, but Lady Sarah
brings an air of wearable beauty to the style stakes.

And she gets some truly spectacular hats!

Perhaps not the easiest inspiration pieces to carry over into everyday wear, but an excellent study in necklines, in structure, and, from a novice seasmstress perspective, the relevance of fabric choices.

And certainly inspiring from the perspective of taking occasion dressing into the realm of the every day. I have long rebelled against the idea of clothes languishing in the wardrobe to be worn on that special occasion that never arrives. Avoiding a particular skirt because it is silk, or a dress because it is velvet seems to me an absurd way to live… I’m not suggesting you wear a ball gown to the office (although, I have done that…), but we could all learn from the ways in which sumptuous fabrics were dressed down in this era, to distinguish day dresses from evening wear without loosing the sense of luxury. If dressember succeeded in dragging us all out of the winter-woolies, then surely the baby-step into the realms of luxury is a simple one to take?!

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4 thoughts on “Inspiration: the 1700s

  1. I used to keep stuff strictly for best, but I got fed up of selling things on eBay that had been worn once and no longer fit. Now there’s no such thing as for best.

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